Snake Dike, Half Dome 5.7 R

 
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

  • Currently 5.0/5
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Summary of All Ratings

SuperTopo Rating:   
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  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (4.5)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
15 Total Ratings
5 star: 80%  (12)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 13%  (2)
2 star: 7%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
Nov 17, 2014 - 03:04pm
 
My cousin and I took the alternate approach route yesterday. The guide makes it seem much more complicated than it is. Just follow the base of Liberty Cap around until you're about at the top of the saddle between it and Mt Broderick, then turn towards Half Dome, pick up the climbers trail and cairns through the bushes, along the lake, and up Half Dome's slabs.

This was our first time up, we took BD Camelots .4-1, DMM Wallnuts 4-9, 4 single alpine draws, 2 double alpine draws, and each packed an anchor setup. Probably could have brought a couple fewer nuts and single draws, but each cam got used at least once.

With a 70m rope we were able to extend pitch 7 up a little higher than the Really Big Headwall that's to the right of the top of the route and unroped there. A 60m could probably make it if you're careful about going straight up.

Don't do this climb after Leg Day at the gym!

Start of the route just getting sun. Roof that you traverse below before the top of p1 is dark gray just right of center.
start of Snake Dike
start of Snake Dike
Credit: looks easy from here
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Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Nov 1, 2014 - 01:08pm
 
And rattlesnakes.

Jim Keating and I were soloing the headwalls up to the start and we came fact to face, literally, no kidding about a foot from our face as we were mantling, we dropped down about the eight feet. I then encountered another rattler.

But we did the route and spent the night on top of Half Dome watching the full lunar eclipse.

One of the best climbs I have ever done.

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ron gomez

Trad climber
fallbrook,ca
Nov 1, 2014 - 10:43am
 
All I bring is a red or small/med camalot for the roof at the start, then 4 long slings for the rest of the route. A couple medium nuts can be helpful on the first pitch.
Peace

Edit, I go straight up to left side of roof area, I don't come in from the right in crack, traverse left then up to belay.
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vassal44

Social climber
Chattanooga, TN
Nov 1, 2014 - 10:21am
 
are there enough chickenheads to sling that i would be able to just bring nuts? because im sure the approach and descent would be much easier if slings could replace cams. also, would tricams work as a replacement for cams?
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Ed H

Trad climber
Santa Rosa, CA
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   Oct 16, 2014 - 02:01pm
Finally ticked off Snake Dike this year! With stormy skies, we had the route to ourselves, and only about 15 people on top during a snow shower. We hiked up Nevada Falls trail (lots of steps) and down John Muir (slightly longer, but a lot less steps). We spent one night in the Little Yosemite Valley backpackers campground. The turn off trail to Snake Dike goes up a sandy hill. We took the topo rack – 4 cams, set of nuts, alpine draws, and slings

P1 – good beta to climb up to roof, place pro on long sling (I used triple), then climb back down to make the traverse. To avoid rope drag, I did not place pro in the 5.6 fingers. Built anchor with one cam and 2 nuts.
P2 – Fun and good pro
P3 – Go up and left as per topo to an old bolt. Do not go up the dike and clip the new bolts like I did! This is another route.
P4 – One bolt in 140 ft of 5.4 climbing – got to love it! Feet are good, no hands at times.
P5 - Took me awhile to find the bolt after the right side 5.6 moves
P6 – Easy and fun
P7 – I went right on the 5.2 friction to get some pro, then straight up
P8 – Lots of options – it started to snow!

A 1000 ft of slabs to the top! Cairns mark the way - up and left.

The cables on the way down are pretty steep, and the rock was slippery due to snow. I used rappel gloves and my daisy chain.

Some friends did the route the next week - took them about 12 hours car to car - 3 hours up, 6 hours on the dome, 3 hours down - fun!
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Sabastian

Sport climber
Sacramento, CA
Jun 13, 2014 - 06:48pm
 
All the pro I currently own is a set of DMM Wallnuts #1-11. What other pro do I need to be good to go?
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groveingham

Trad climber
minneapolis
Jun 12, 2014 - 07:19pm
 
I climbed Snake Dike in 1972 and again in 1974, following all the way the first time, and leading pitches 1 and 3 the second time with a woman I met in camp 4. In '72 we slept in bivy bags near the cut off to the climb the night before. I was so cold I hardly slept.

We weren't using pins in the early '70s and there were no cams, so there was NO diagonal protection on pitch one. I remembered pitch 1 as 5.6, so I expected no problems leading it unprotected in '74. But 10 or 15 feet below where I could start using nuts I was suddenly on friction that was at least 5.7, maybe harder than that. I have never been so scared. I had no trouble on the pitch 3 traverse but when I got to the dike I clipped a bolt. Even though I put a long sling on it, the drag was so bad I thought I could fall. I was so rattled I couldn't lead for the rest of the climb.

Besides Yosemite, I also climbed in the Tetons and Cirque of the Towers, in Colorado, and at Devils Lake. Since taking up climbing again three years ago at 70, I have been to Devils Tower and JT, each several times. Snake Dike is my favorite climb. What can I say, it's magical.
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protour

Trad climber
Yosemite, CA
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   Jun 3, 2014 - 06:35pm
Always overlooked this route because of the long approach, always opted for the steeper RNWF instead. The climbing on this route is stellar though. The 600ft vertical dike is one of the coolest features I've ever climbed on. I've heard horror stories of terrible run outs but the route seemed really well bolted to me, all of the 5.7 moves are protectable. Only used a .5 camalot and a few draws. This climb is a must do and great beginner route.
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Tedwaldo

climber
Apr 21, 2014 - 12:19am
 
this is an excellent route with amazing scenery and well worth the hike!

weather was ideal yesterday (4/19) and the descent down the cables was a lot more casual than I was expecting (didn't feel the need to prussik in)-- would highly recommend you bring gloves, though.

UNFORTUNATELY, i left my phone at the base of the route-- if anyone happens to have picked it up, please drop me a line!
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NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Sep 24, 2013 - 01:53pm
 
Bringing only quickdraws on the first few pitches is not much different than soloing those pitches with a groundfall.

Unless you've been there before and tried it, I'd think twice about soloing it even if you think you're comfortable on 5.7. There's a big difference between a bomber 5.7 hand jam and a smooth slab up to an undercling. Of course, it's all relative to your experience and skills and how solid you feel.
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whitemeat

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
Sep 24, 2013 - 10:34am
 
fish:

when I did it earlier this season there was a fixed brand new BD cam on the end of the first ledge where it says you can belay... I think you could easily solo that first 4th class then do the 5.7 step over (it wasent that bad) then there is like a 5.5 finger crack that is like 2 moves and you would have pro for the next bit to the anchors... that bit to the anchors it horribly easy (5.2) so I would say you would cruise it plus if you do fall before that fixed cam you wouldnt "die" you would just slide. you dont need gear for rest of route. you could try and barrow gear from camp4 people, I would let you use my gear If I was there!
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Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Sep 24, 2013 - 10:32am
 
On the first pitch a Red Camalot,or similar size with a long sling will protect (from above) the diagonal moves across the varnish.

On the second pitch there is a small slot in bulge below the bolt that would take @ a Green/Purple Camalot, or similar.

After that you can find funky placements for a range of stuff, but most folks just keep going to the odd bolt, or the belays.

On the third pitch you can clip the optional belay bolts with a very long sling, and continue without heinous drag.

I took a small rack and used virtually none of it!

Even with this gear, the hardest climbing on the hardest pitch, (the rising travese on the third), is unprotected padding. if you are comfortable on unprotected 5.7 it's no big deal. If not.....

Steve
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Andy Middleton

Trad climber
Cow Hampshire
Sep 24, 2013 - 08:39am
 
Fishman; I would say, gear on the first two pitches is necessary unless you like soloing 5.7.
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Fishdix

Big Wall climber
Lemoore, California
Sep 23, 2013 - 10:49pm
 
Is the trad pro recommended or necessary? I would love to climb this route but I only have sport pro and would hate to have that stop me from climbing this wall
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Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Sep 23, 2013 - 09:59pm
 
bumping just in case some one around here knows something bout rock climbing
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Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Sep 22, 2013 - 01:07am
 
Possibile to make pitch five (hole) belay from pitch three alternate belay with 60 m?
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cultureshock

Trad climber
Mountain View
Apr 24, 2012 - 03:19pm
 
Approach and route are dry and snow free as of 4/20. There is a bit of snow on the descent and on the Sub-Dome. Nothing too drastic.

Enjoy!

Descending the cables after climbing Snake Dike - April 2012
Descending the cables after climbing Snake Dike - April 2012
Credit: cultureshock
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micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
Jan 2, 2012 - 01:35pm
 
Climbed Snake Dike yesterday, January 1st. Amazing day to be in the mountains. Not a soul around. Whoda thunk Snake Dike on New Years Eve would have a snow free approach and descent. Climbed in sunshine all day.

There is currently no ice on the cables, though they lay on the stone as they always do in winter, without vertical struts. Still a bit heads up.

Streams are trickling at various spots but frozen solid in others.
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Mikemcee

Social climber
Mill Valley, CA
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   Dec 23, 2011 - 11:58am
The first time I did it I used Chris Mac's GPS coordinates. They got us there but were more of a guide than an actual GPS track.

Did it again in September and followed the Cairns after the lake and it was a piece of cake. No GPS, just followed the trail. There are a few places where you can get off route easily but for the most part, it's straight forward. IMO..leave the electronics at home and enjoy the adventure.
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Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Dec 22, 2011 - 11:37am
 
skating on stilts
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Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Dec 22, 2011 - 11:08am
 
When I did it, I found the approach mellow, and mabe it had one short section of slabby 4th class. We followed cairns and path of least resistance. Turned right shortly after that swamp with a nice view of HD. That's where the cairns started. It takes you out from the bushes and more towards the rock.
Leave at 5am from the parking lot and you shouldn't have any trouble getting there on time. Route is easy and goes fast. After first 2 pitches you don't place pro lol, just climb and belay.
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Chris Biow

Trad climber
Reston
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   Dec 22, 2011 - 12:10am
I'd appreciate a check on what I think is the easiest approach, avoiding all fourth class slab traversing.

I've climbed Snake Dike twice before, neither time feeling that we'd shot the approach correctly. Despite plotting what looked on Google Earth like the easiest route, when I attempted it for the third time with my 15 year-old son on 26 August, we wound up going through what seemed like every manzanita thicket in the valley. By the time we made it to the slopes, it was too late and hot in they day, and my son was feeling poorly, so the better part of valor was a retreat and "maybe next year". On the way back, we followed clear cairns that avoided all the hard parts we'd taken on the way out. So I've reversed my GPS track back to LYV campground and placed it at http://www.biow.org/yosemite/SnakeDikeApproach.kml.

The remaining route from our turnaround point seems clear, going up and left on a ledge until reaching the trees, and then up the fall line to the base of Snake Dike. But if anyone has an actual GPS track of that last bit, I'd like to add it to what I have.
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Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Sep 29, 2011 - 12:14pm
 
My Brother, Glenn, and I did it Sept 23rd.
we Hiked to LYV on the 22nd, camped, and headed for the route at 6am,
The cairns were easy to follow to the base.

The runouts were not bad as the climbing was pretty easy.
and I had done the route 5 times before.
It was the first time for my brother though.
He had a GREAT time, as did I.
The slabs above the climbs were endless.
instead of going straight up I switchbacked the slabs to save the calves. Lot easier that way.

Cosmic
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Mikemcee

Social climber
Mill Valley, CA
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   Sep 29, 2011 - 11:14am
Did this route on 9/26. Stellar weather and had the route all to ourselves. Roger Brown has done a fantastic job cleaning up and restacking the approach cairn's, basically turning a wandering, bush whacking, slab scramble into an incredibly fun hike. The new bolts also look really nice although you still wouldn't want to fall on this one. One thing I did notice is that the endless third class at the top seemed to have gotten endlesser in the 2 years since I last did this route.

Overall a fantastic day and with the permitting system in effect, even the cables weren't crowded.
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Captain...or Skully

climber
in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
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   Sep 24, 2011 - 02:32am
Yer gonna die!!!6!!
No permits. Find a spot in the forest. Great route.
Remember.
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G Fizzell my Nizzell

Trad climber
P-town, Oregon
Sep 24, 2011 - 02:30am
 
Do I need a permit to climb Half Dome? Also where is the best place to camp out the day before the climb?

Thanks,

G
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bp

Trad climber
Placerville, Ca
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   Jul 7, 2011 - 07:20pm
Climbed the route on 7/3/11. The 5.7 traverses on pitches 1 and 3 were not bad at all, although i agree with Supertopo, that the traverse on pitch 3 is probably the psychological crux. I think pitch 2 deserves a mention. From the two bomber bolts at the top of the flake on pitch 1, traverse directly out right on thin, but very easy terrain until the you get to a right trending dike. i think i got a piece in here, probably an alien, just before getting onto the dike. Once on the dike, the climbing felt like solid 5.7 and there is a good bolt. From there, it is probably 35 feet to the anchor with no more pro. Because the dike trends right, and does not go strait up like the Snake Dike above it, i chose to climb with my hands on the small features of the dike and my feet smeared below on low angle mini-features. This may have been a mistake. The climbing felt like pretty solid 5.7 and with no more pro, was a little heady. My partner climbed this section after the bolt by climbing with his body above the dike, using the features of the dike as footholds, rather than handholds. Watching him, i got the feeling this way was much easier.

There are bomber bolted anchors at the tops of pitches 1, 2, and 3. I think the top of pitch 4 had one new bolt and one old one. Tops of 5 and 6 both had old bolts, and we never found bolts at the tops of 7 or 8, but both have plenty of natural options.
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klaus

Big Wall climber
Pacif*#ka Muthaf*#ka
Jun 17, 2011 - 01:24am
 
there were 10 people on the route at 7:30 in the morning today? thats unreal. where do these people come from? Oh yeah Stoopidtopo, duh
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towerofpower

Trad climber
sacramento, ca
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   Jun 17, 2011 - 01:11am
Got an early start (0430) at the trailhead, and motored up the trail getting blasted on the mist trail in shorts and a t shirt to get to the base in 3 hrs flat to find 10 people total on the route, 5 of them on the ground. The climbing was extremely slow. Why do belay changeovers take 20 minutes? Despite the slow parties, I really enjoyed the hike, climbing on the awesome featured dike and the views. Cables still down, park service guy shoveling snow off the last part of the trail on subdome which is now clear.
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Matt Thomsen

Big Wall climber
Places
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   Jun 13, 2011 - 07:58pm
About the route beta being wrong. It is not. The traverse starts lower and has one bolt and then you get on the dike. The rap station is still there. I climbed a bit higher when I did it, but my follower stayed low and ran right into them.

About it sucking I would disagree. I thought it was a much better route then I was expecting. It is long and easy, but the run outs keep it exciting and fun. The location is great! The top slabs do suck a bit, put the summit is well worth it. The hike is not that bad if you are in any shape...

Go do this route if you have not!
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Tattooed 1

Trad climber
Sebastopol, Ca
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   Jun 13, 2011 - 05:34pm
My partner and I climbed this route on Saturday and I have to admit we were both disappointed. It is a lot of work and a long day for a pretty uninteresting climb. The summit is great, the location and the views are great. The dike climbing got monotonous pretty quick and although the climbing is not difficult 80' run outs are a bit much if you were a 5.7 leader. The endless dome hike at the top was another reason I definitely would not do it again.
Tim
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emu

climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 13, 2011 - 11:40am
 
Jack, when I did this route last year I also clipped the two shiny ASCA bolts on the third pitch traverse and failed to find the alternate belay. After looking at the Reid topo I think those bolts are off-route; I believe that those bolts belong to a 5.9 section of Eye in the Sky. The correct route is lower.
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jack herer

Big Wall climber
Veneta, Oregon
Jun 13, 2011 - 04:02am
 
climbed snake dike on saturday if anyone finds some sweet glass on the approach let me know!

anyways some notes on the climb, we didnt have a topo and wound up simuling from the "third" pitch on cuz we messed up the belays. but anyways when i got home and looked at the supertopo the topo kinda goes to crap for what would be the third pitch. wich could possibly be confusing to some noobs fixated on the topo. there seems to be some alternate variation with two or three nice new asca bolts that seems to traverse higher than the normal line, that almost seemed possibly harder than the 5.7 grade but better protected i guess. then it seems as the optional anchor after the leftward traverse has been removed. anyways someone could probably do a better job describing this, but i thought i may mention this cuz its supertopo and all! was cool to have the half dome summit to ourselves.
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schaffner

Trad climber
Jun 12, 2011 - 05:06pm
 
Climbed it on Friday. We were at the base at 9:40 and there were already 5 people on the route and 7 people at the base.

Didn't need any nuts, but a green BD was helpful. We tried to link pitch 6 and 7 (67 m according to the topo) with a 70 m rope, but we were short about 15 ft.

Used prussiks for the descent on the cables. The hike down was confusing in parts since the trail is covered by snow and there were many misleading tracks.
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Nrsmith83

Trad climber
Tampa/Telluride
May 23, 2011 - 01:15pm
 
No, but it is not sketchy. It is flat and post holed already. We walked across in our climbing shoes there is no risk of slipping.
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Chris jon

climber
May 16, 2011 - 06:03pm
 
Is it possible to walk across the top and to the cables in some way without touching snow?
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Nrsmith83

Trad climber
Tampa/Telluride
May 15, 2011 - 10:05pm
 
My wife and I did the big hike on May 11th. The route is dry and the cables are clear of snow/ice. You will have to do some post holing after the cables as there is about 4 ft of snow in places. It was a long day, but we had a blast!
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schaffner

Trad climber
May 6, 2011 - 12:14am
 
Has anybody been up there recently? I assume the cables are not frozen to the rock anymore? Are the slabs sketchy this early in the season?
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Hoop

climber
MN
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   Nov 12, 2010 - 02:02pm
We climbed this fantastic route in September 2010 during our first trip to Yosemite Valley.

1. In addition to reviewing the Supertopo beta, try searching “snake dike” on YouTube, you will be able to watch numerous videos that will give you a nice feel for the route.

2. The approach GPS coordinates provided by Chris M. in this beta section can be helpful if you decide on an early start and are hiking up in the dark as we did.

3. If you bring a water filter, you can top-off your water just off the Muir Trail, above Nevada falls, somewhere before breaking off on the climbers trail toward Lost Lake. It would have been difficult to find a place to filter at Lost Lake. This is also a good spot to add water on the return hike.

4. Oddly enough, for two people who climb less than a handful of times a year, the climbing went very well. I found an unlikely surprise on the lower portion of the first pitch (polished 4th class). As described in the guidebook, I chose to go up and right for the first pitch to place gear, down climbed slightly, and then worked up and left across the friction. If you choose a similar line, it is helpful to know that you will get some good vertical on polished “low friction” rock before getting in a nice piece, not a huge deal, but at the time it was sort of wake up call.

5. Climbing the dike was thrilling and an excellent contrast to the lower, three pitches, which I think, are equally fantastic (noting that there is some dike climbing mixed in on the second pitch).

6. The eighth pitch ends in a huge crescent shaped fracture. We exited this final belay towards the right side and stayed on that relative line as we walked toward the summit. We were wearing comfortable climbing shoes, so we left them on for the third class slabs. I was personally happy with that decision. About halfway up the slabs, there is a slight increase in steepness (noticeable mostly on the right when looking towards the summit). We had no climbers in front of us, so the best line was not that obvious. I stayed roughly on the same line I had been on after exiting from the eighth belay, my climbing partner went left across the face and then up. Once up near the increase in steepness, I found an obvious weakness that is easily negotiated...my climbing partner however plummeted off his line...JK. He indicated that his line was fine as well.

7. One final comment...we were first on the route and experienced the route finding as well as the climbing...highly recommended!
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Sep 1, 2009 - 10:27am
 
Trip report with photos here
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=946644
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steple

climber
May 18, 2009 - 12:10pm
 
Approach: Follow the cairns. This will lead you up and right towards the base of the wall, although Snake Dike starts further left. Once you get to the base, you traverse left along the base of the wall, then go up the switchbacks. The tree on the right half way up the first pitch makes it easy to find the start.
Pitch 7: It is pretty obvious that you need to go slightly right.

If you manage to get an old purple 0.5 BD cam unstuck on pitch 2, please drop me a line as I am very interested ($) in getting this piece back, because of its sentimental value. Thanks.
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Floyd Hayes

Trad climber
Hidden Valley Lake, CA
Sep 14, 2008 - 06:45pm
 
Pitch 7: Several climbers posting here were confused. The SuperTopo shows "5.2 friction" going straight up to "5.2 fingers," but the "5.2 friction" actually traverses more to the RIGHT, then UP to the obvious "5.2 fingers" crack. Going straight up the slab between the dike on the left and the crack on the right is much harder.

Pitch 8: The ledge going left from the belay is more broken up than indicated in the SuperTopo. You have to clamber left over a low-angle bulging corner to reach the easy "5.2 friction" that goes up the left side of the bulging corner, essentially out of sight of the belayer. Going up to the right of the bulging corner is harder.
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Doug Hemken

climber
Madison, WI
Jun 18, 2008 - 03:32pm
 
I've climbed "Snake Dike" three times. Although you may be fortunate, you should usually expect there to be other people up there. The first time we kept pace with everyone else, next time we passed another party, and last time we were passed.

The best way to alleviate crowds on "Snake Dike" would be if people learned how to pass gracefully. There needs to be a section on this in the next "Freedom of the Hills" or in Long's next edition. Not that I'm any great expert on the smooth pass, but I've seen way more botched passes than good ones, and it shouldn't be like that!

On "Snake Dike", if the would-be passing party would climb SHORT to one of the alternate belays, they would then set themselves up for a quick pass through with a little simul-climbing. If they are not confident simul-climbers (with practice elsewhere), and if they are not moving considerably faster than the party they are overtaking, they should just cool it. If they cannot completely pass the leader in one simul-pitch, and then stay beyond his reach, they have botched their pass.

The party being passed should not have to pause more than 10-15 minutes (if at all). They knew they would need all that remains of the day to do the climb, so they arrived early enough for that. They shouldn't have to descend in the dark because the passing party didn't bring headlamps.

And finally, just because you are fast and your partner climbs 5.10 does not mean you are a fast TEAM.

I've made all these faux pas myself, and I've had them all made to me on various climbs. Until people start adopting some sort of best practices while passing/being passed, we are all going to continue to get on each others nerves. Let's work on this, shall we?
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
May 6, 2008 - 02:11pm
 
did snake dike a few days ago and ran into some electrical conditions at the top. just a reminder, Half Dome gets more lightning activity than anywhere else in the Valley. you should educate yourself on lightning before you climb.

here is a discussion here:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=589931


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Josh

Trad climber
Watsonville, CA
Oct 8, 2007 - 03:21pm
 
We did Snake Hike on Saturday October 5. Slight dusting of snow - mostly dry by 10 am. Not very crowded - maybe the weather? It's a great time to be out there!

Check out the photos at http://www.latif.org/snake_dike/
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Sep 25, 2007 - 04:20pm
 


Here are some gps coordinates for the approach
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latchkey

Sport climber
San Francisco, CA
Jun 27, 2007 - 08:47pm
 
Climbed it on 16 June, 2007. A very long day (12 hours round trip), but well worth the effort. Here are my pictures:

http://flickr.com/photos/latchkey/sets/72157600393225234/
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summerprophet

Mountain climber
Cali Via Canada
Apr 2, 2007 - 11:11am
 
Climbed this route 04/01/07.

There was some debate at the mountain shop whether this would be dry. I didn't see any water at all on the pitches, and only small trickles above on the slabs. The stairs below the cables are about 20% covered in snow. Wouldn't be a bad idea to carry gaiters or atleast wool socks. We had to posthole for a hundred yards or so. As this was my first time up half dome the snow cover made the trail easy to lose. Wouldn't be a bad idea to wait if you haven't done it before.

Thats right folks, snake dike is open, let the masses loose.
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zott

Mountain climber
South SF Bay Area, CA
Nov 14, 2005 - 02:24am
 
Climbed this yesterday - 12th November - with my son who's 15.
Totally awesome. It took us 3.5 hours to get to the base of the climb from the Curry Village parking and via the gully between Liberty cap & Broderik. The climb itself was quick and we topped out on the summit in 4 hours.

I think I went off route on the third pitch (but it worked out for the better) - instead of going left on the 5.7 friction traverse, I went diagonally left and up. Found 2 good bolts separated by about 25 feet each, and got to a 2-bolt (old but good) belay station about 10 feet to the right of the actual dike. The climbing may be slightly harder than 5.7 (IMO) and it's all friction, but it's upwards, so better protected for the seconder. Easy to traverse left to get to the dike from here.

Anyone know about these bolts? They're not marked in my guide book.
--Zott
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sixleggedinsect

Trad climber
Oct 6, 2005 - 01:40pm
 
snake dike was great, but i was really bummed at the summit rap. i tried and i tried and i tried, but i couldnt fit the cables into my reverso.

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TIM SHEA

Trad climber
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA
May 24, 2005 - 03:41pm
 
I climbed this with my wife in August. Our biggest worry was that it would be too hot. I found the climbing easy, but half way up I realized how "Fun" this climb was. It is truely unique climbing the dikes. The super topo was exact. The approach is hard, no doubt. The slabs to the summit are "calf pumping". All in all we loved the experience.
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Rockdude

Trad climber
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA
Sep 20, 2004 - 09:58pm
 
Great route. I proposed to my girlfriend once we made it to the top. In my mind if she can do Snake Dike she is a keeper. Took the approach between Mt. Broderick and liberty cap, it is shorter but I don't think faster. The bushwhacking, boulder hopping, and scrambling took too much time. From North Pines to base of climb 4:16 hour. On the first pitch head straight for the left corner of the roof drop in your BD .75 at the corner and head up. No need to climb into the roof place gear climb down and over then up. I never saw a 5.7 on the 1st pitch. On the second pitch, again I never saw a 5.7 move in the traverse. I only placed gear twice on the route; at the corner of the roof on the 1st pitch and in the hole at the start of the second pitch before moving onto the Dike, the rest of the route was like 5.4 climbing with big runouts. Supertopo says that on the 7th pitch that going straight up is 5.2 climbing. For me and I see several other reviewers it was 5.7 slab climbing. By far the hardest moves on the route were in the first 20 feet of that pitch. The hike up the 4 class to the top was long and a little scary. It took us about 4 hours to do the climb and hike the slabs to the top. It took about another 4: 45 to hike back to north pines. We were taking our time on the way back down.
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Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
Sep 20, 2004 - 12:55pm
 
I did this two weekends ago. Stellar route! Snake Dike is now up in my top five favorite climbs since it is pure FUN. A party on the first pitch ahead of us looked like they were going to be slow so I asked if we could pass. They said yes and I tore off as fast as I could. I went so fast that I did a variation to the route on accident. After placing the .75" cam (#3 metolius) in a small hole on the 2nd pitch I went straight up bypassing the dike that goes out right and getting straight onto the main dike to the top. While this variation lets you skip a belay and the 5.7 friction traverse described as the "psychological and physical crux" the variation was definitely the hardest climbing I found on the route (a 5.8-5.9 move or two to sustained 5.6-5.7) with no pro besides the cam until the anchor. I ended up belaying at the optional belay right after the 5.7 friction traverse. The route is so easy after I got on the main dike that I kept skipping bolts since I wasn't even looking for them.
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therapist

Trad climber
Woodbridge, CA
Aug 30, 2004 - 03:24pm
 
Climbed this route for the second time last Wednesday. The first time was 28 years ago and I think I enjoyed it even more on the second trip. I had no recollection of the approach from Lost Lake though. What a grunt especially in afternoon heat. The way is pretty well marked though and we had no trouble staying on the "trail". When in doubt go straight towards the south face again. We didn't start the route until 2:30 which worked out well as we had no company. Summitted at 5:30 and there wasn't another soul on top. Someone should leave some gloves at the top of the cables as well as the bottom( maybe there are and we just didn't notice them) where we saw about 50 pain...this also a nice addition since my first trip up. Back to the car by 9:00 and the Mountain Room Bar by 9:15! The new bolts are also a much appreciated addition. When we first approached the route there was another party on P3, offroute on the dike that goes out to the right. They must have missed the arrow pointing them to the left and couldn't have been carrying Chris's excellent supertopo, which, by the way, is right on for every pitch.
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smitty

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Ca
Aug 9, 2004 - 10:54pm
 
We did this route two days ago (8/8). It was the second time doing it, and just as amazing as before. We found the apparent correct way up the final slab approach. Just as you leave lost lake, turn right and go up the first solid slab you encounter heading straight for the south face. I made the mistake of following cairns left of there, and added an hour or more to the approach. This way made it very easy. I thought the hike between Mt. Broderick and Liberty Cap was fantastic! Not at all hard.
The climb is very straight forward. On the first pitch, if you feel comfortable, I recommend just heading straight across the slab towards the "5.6 fingers over bulge". Climbing that delicate slab is uncomfortable (fun) anyway you slice it, so just get it over with (enjoy it) as quick as possible. The first time I climbed the route I went up into the crack in the roof to get protection in and basically flailed with wierd downclimbing on very slick glacier polish and or underclinging the crack. Just get out on the slab, stand straight on your feet and be delicate. The rest is wonderful fun!
I've heard of people getting lost in the last few pitches. Just follow your instict. It's all very manageable.
Bring shoes with good padding in the balls of your feet ( ie not running shoes) for the hike up the slabs to the summit. The climb height is deceptive as the eight pitches only takes up half way up the dome and that hike covers about as much ground as the climb did. Be prepared to be cordial and answer the questions of the tourists on the summit. For fun, when they ask how long it took to climb up, tell them you started two months prior and watch their eyes light up. I guarentee you get at least an extra drink of water from them.
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Ney Grant

Trad climber
Pollock Pines
Jul 13, 2004 - 09:33pm
 
We did this late June on a Monday with our kids, 10 and 12 years old. Here is a report in case someone wants to try something similar. We got up at 2:45 am and rode bikes to Happy Isles. Back in time for pizza at Camp Curry. A great day but the rope management was exhausting.

The leader would drag an extra rope, and the 12 year old, a good climber, would follow the leader dragging another rope. The last two (an adult and 10 year old) would simul-climb on two ropes belayed by a Reverso device. Three ropes total. Thus the young guy could get help on the reaches he is just too short for. It worked well, but still managing three ropes and four people was tough. I didn't remember that the belay stations were so small, so it was tough to keep everything straight and untangled.

We all simul-climbed with running belays the top class 3 pitches while roped on one rope, and I occassionally put something in on the first few steeper pitches. Kind of like snow/ice climbing on rocks. That worked great and we made great time to the summit.

It is a popular route. Get there early! We were first at the base but let one party start ahead of us and another pass us. We were slow and the couple behind us was slow, finally dropping back a few pitches. I'm pretty certain the parties below that never finished the climb since thunderstorms came in not long after we were down on the trail. We hunkered down and never saw anyone else coming off the cables.

All in all a great experience for our kids.
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darshahlu

Trad climber
Irvine, CA
Jul 13, 2004 - 04:26pm
 
I climbed this July as well. We got up at 5am, hit the trail head at 530am and were on the summit of Half Dome at 130pm. We got back to our car at about 5pm. A long day!

I would recommend the alternative approach mentioned in the topo. It is an AWESOME trail and if you enjoy hiking, just doing this approach would be fun. It goes between Liberty Cap and Mt Broderick and when we did it, there was NOONE on it. Very pristine and beautiful with lots of fun boulder hopping. The last part of the approach (which is mandatory for both approaches) is horrendous 3rd class scrambling. Super tiring...

I agree with the previous post; the 5.2 friction part is pretty confusing. I went straight up too and it was the scariest part of the climb!

Other than the two cruxes (P1 and P3) the climb is VERY easy. The 3rd class slabs at the end is not scary at all (I thought it would be). You can do this barefoot for the most part.

I have pictures posted of this trip here: http://shellysrestaurant.com/rock/route%20photos/snake_dike/

-Darshan
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Damian C

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jul 12, 2004 - 08:15pm
 
Climbed this route on the 4th of July. The Supertopo is perfect, except on the 7th pitch (5.2 Friction). I couldn't tell which direction to go to get to the flake with 5.5 fingers (there is a small flake on the right, and a larger one above the dike on the left). The Dike is shown as off route, but the party right after us climbed it to the flake. The dike is shown at much more of an angle to the left than it really is, which confused me even more. My partner ended up leading this pitch and he went straight up, between the two flakes. This works, but no pro for the entire 100 feet (don't slip!). Also, on the 5th pitch, there are a few chickenheads to sling which make the runout not bad at all. The new Mammut Dyneema slings work very well for this. Overall, an absolutely beautiful climb. The approach is, well, um...horrendous.
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ThomasKeefer

Trad climber
Berkeley
May 17, 2004 - 10:54am
 
Did this route over the weekend.. Really fun!
The belay after the third pitch shows the bolts both being on the left of the dike. They are not one is on the left and one is on the right. This is no big deal but they are spaced further apart and so if you are moving along pretty quick and saw one of them you may just skip the second and keep going to the next belay. dont do it because there is no reason. It makes the fourth pitch really short but just long enough so as to not be able to link it without about 20ft of simul with the fifth.
Also on the 7th pitch, it seems like you have to move down two moves from the belay and then make a traverse. The topo calls for straight up from the belay but that does not look anything like 5.2 friction. In fact it looks like it is much harder than anything on the rest of the route. Going down two moves and then over right to the dike again is about 5.2 or so.
The cables were still down but that did not stop the tourist train. There were a bunch of people on the top.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Apr 29, 2004 - 12:27am
 
climbed this last weekend.

the uprights on the cables are down till memorial day or so. for the moment the cables lie flat against the rock.


this is no biggie. it can actually be faster to get down right now if you have thick leather gloves and don't mind running down head first (let the cable run against you pants for a little extra friction.)

only one other team on the route when i did it. but few crowds like that won't last long...
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macgyver

Social climber
Oregon, but now in Europe
Dec 4, 2003 - 11:25am
 
ASCENT IN LATE SEPTEMBER:
Visualize the whole experience (Snake Dike = long hike + stairs + devious climbers trail + cairns galore + brilliant climbing + funky dikes + long slabs + tourists + questions from tourists + descent down cables + running out of water + dipping your feet in the river)
It is the perfect package. Next time I am going to do the full moon version.

If you have one competent 5.8 leader and good rubber on your shoes than you will find this route perfect.

Some quick recs:
P2
Straight forward climbing with no pro until the bolt (the topo shows 0.75" but I couldn´t remember anything there) then a few 5.7 moves (it will either feel 5.3 or 5.7 to you depending on your feet since the handholds are not huge, choose carefully and you will find the turf very easy.

P3
The look for the very hard to see bolt (in '01 I went up and right on the off route dike, traversed 30 feet to high on 10b friction, got within a foot of the dike, and took a huge cheesegrater). It is only 7-10 feet from the belay about 45 degrees left. It blends well with the rock during midday light. Other people think I am blind not seeing it before but my partner couldnt see it at first either. You will quickly find the traverse over (it goes over a bulge and will feel no harder than 5.4...honest). The first moves on the dike are the hardest and then it is easy terrain. Great feet with the occasional super jug. ENJOY

P5
Favorite pitch by far. The 5.5 fingers felt harder to both my partner and I for whatever reason but very fun climbing. A small cam fits in the top of the 5.5 (a #10 stopper too but doesn´t sit as well). Then cruise up and bear hug the dike for a 100 feet. Peak your head around the dike every so often to see the incredible shapes and contrast to the surrounding smooth granite. STELLAR PITCH!

P6
Easy and long runout (no pro the whole time) yet a French team below us stopped before the final 5.4 bit talking about a bolt which we did not see and climbed directly to the anchor. They supposedly found it. POSSIBLE CORRECTION: The topo does not show this bolt. If anyone can confirm it can be added to the topo. The 5.4 terrain is 4 moves long so if you don´t see it...don´t worry.

For competent and light team-->
Rack with 60 m rope:
3 small cams
3-6 med/large nuts
1 pink tricam for roof
water filter

Rock on,
M
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Eddie

Trad climber
Oregon, but now in Europe
Oct 27, 2003 - 03:51pm
 
Probably pretty obvious to some, but its worth bringing a pair of cheap leather gloves of some sort for going down the cables. I don't know what its like without them, but I imagine it kind of sucks. Of course, the cables were 'down' this weekend so you could run down it head first, if you had gloves, which was the funnest part of the day for me.

Also obvious to some mabye, we waited till lost lake to fill up our water, planning on having more than enough since everyone recommends bringing lots, but alas, lost lake is a mud puddle and had little to offer. Maybe someone knows a spot that works when its this dry, which would be very useful beta, but I'd recommend getting water before you break away from the main trail above Nevada falls. Otherwise, its no water till you are back at Little yosemite, unless you can bum some off the tourists.

Fun route, good times, have a blast,
Eddie

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Jad Josey

Trad climber
Los Osos, CA
Sep 29, 2003 - 02:06pm
 
One more comment to those of you looking to climb Snake Dike:

Bring a very light rack. We used some small TCU's (0,1,2), a couple Splitter 2-Cams and 4-Cams, and a .75 Camalot. There are some creative gear placements throughout the run-out dike climbing (a couple small holes, nice chicken-heads), but once you are on the dike, be prepared to just keep moving (and have fun doing so!).
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Jad Josey

Trad climber
Los Osos, CA
Sep 29, 2003 - 01:57pm
 
My climbing partner, Jesse, and I did this route on Saturday, September 27th. The hike was definitely a physical challenge, but fairly straight-forward (even by the light of our headlamps). We started hiking from Happy Isles at 4:45 a.m., reaching the chasm between Liberty Cap and Mt. Broderick just as the day began dawning. We reached the base of Snake Dike at 9:00 a.m. and began climbing at 9:15. The climb is spectacular. Although the route is easy technically, the run-outs keep it exciting. Climbing up the dike is like a wild ride on the back of a dinosaur. No one else showed up at the base until we were finishing up the fifth pitch, so we climbed in relative seclusion. There were several fires burning in the Valley, so the smoke began to obscure the amazing views. All said, the Snake Dike is worth the hike (and it IS a hell of a hike). We made it car-to-car in just over twelve hours. Take your water filter, or prepare to be severely dehydrated. The SuperTopo for this climb is perfect... thanks for the freebie. I'm hooked. I'll definitely be heading back to climb the Northwest Face in the near future. Cheers!
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smitty

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Ca
Aug 16, 2003 - 08:03pm
 
This has to be one of the best outtings I've had. The hike up was hell. The trail between Liberty Cap and Broderick takes a lot of energy. We started WAY late, and didn't start up the route until 4:00pm. If you feel safe doing that, or hiking from Nevada Falls to camp in the dark, then I recommend it. I wasn't totally comfortable though... I read of someone getting lost on the 2nd pitch chasing a wierd bolt out on the face, but it didn't seem like a problem. the line is obvious. Don't trip out on the third pitch, it's not that bad. The run outs make this climb really exciting and fluid on well featured wonderful granite. Anyone know the geology behind those dikes? Would it have been some sort of mold for that shape while the granite was cooling? Interesting.
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jhump

Mountain climber
Cleveland, OH
Jul 10, 2003 - 03:13pm
 
I passed the approach trail by.........2 miles. Add 4 miles of hiking/running to the day and you have.........8 million miles. Please tell me where the 5.7 was, because I think I missed it? The first pitch was 5.7, but I was way off route, doing the arching finger crack to the right. By starting the route at the higher trees, we got to the second pitch belay in one pitch by taking this crack. It was very nice, and we were able to pass a slower party. The friction leading left to the dike can't be harder than 5.4. The dike was incredible. It was like climbing on a stegosauras. Lots of chickenheads and tie-offs. The new, ultrathin 8mm runners made tie-offs easier. I've never had more fun on a route, and never climbed an easier route. 13 hours car to car with fiance. We ran from the HD shoulder to top of falls and from bottom of falls to parking lot.

RACK
TCU- 0,1,2
Nuts-BD 4-8/HB Brass 2,3,4/HB Aluminum two smallest sizes
2 Screamers
6 24" runners
2 48" runners for belays

RECOMMENDATIONS
Simulclimb the entire dike. Bring a few more draws/slings and do it all in one pitch. More skinny slings mean fewer runouts and more solid chickenheads.
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Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Jul 10, 2003 - 01:27pm
 
Not so very early in my climbing career as ricardo but not really a vet either (I've been climbing for ~2.5 years and generally climb harder than Snake Dike), I was still afraid of it because of the runouts that I thought that I would find on the 5.7 (after having a few 'That was 5.easy?!' experiences lately). B/c I had knee surgery over the winter I also thought the approach/descent would be a killer.

So, I actually trained for both. The South Face of North Dome (linked with Royal Arches) amongst other shorter routes was my training route. In retrospect, this was like doing Outer Limits to train for Nutcracker as the SF or ND day was much more strenuous, run out, and technically difficult.

I actually walked heel-toe across a ledgey thing that was supposed to be the 5.7 "psychological crux" and didn't find that part 5.7 or run out at all. The 5.7 friction on the first pitch was practically TRed once the gear was in the roof. My friend (who hadn't climbed in Yosemite for 2 years) and I were pleasantly surprised. The dike run-outs where so straightforward that even a chickenpoo like me didn't get too scared. The descent really did kick my butt (and feet and knees and back). The crux for doughnut people like me will probably be the 3rd class slab forever.

Also...to anyone who's worried that it's not worth the approach...The appraoch itself is worth the approach. It was so beautiful on top that I cried.
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ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
Jul 9, 2003 - 12:33pm
 
i've been climbing for 6 months and led all pitches about 3 weeksw ago --

psycologically it was a bit trippy when i looked down at 75+' runouts .. scary .. and envigorating .. but nothing beyond that -- i could have kept on climbing -- but with a large sense of dread if i blew it ..

.. i got off-route at one point and ended up doing a bit harder climbing (probably 5.7) about 40' above a bolt .. that's probably the hardest climbing i've done to date (psycologically) --

.. i'm glad that i didn't do this climb earlier in my climbing career -- would have been tougher .. (i had already soloed the upper 5 pitches of after six before doing snake dike so i knew that i could handle a runout pitch)

    ricardo
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JohnDoe

Trad climber
Denver, CO
Jul 8, 2003 - 07:31pm
 
The approach is too grueling. Hmmm. If you are in good shape, are comfortable on 5.7 friction, and go with the light is right approach - this climb doesn't have to be grueling. A great climb in a great setting with awesome views and one of the coolest approaches around . . .

Climb Ohn. Wally
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ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
Jul 8, 2003 - 06:01pm
 
yosemitecamp4: i feel your pain! ..

.. i loved the climb -- but hated the hike out (the one in was pretty nice!) ..

if this climb was closer to the road, you'd have to stand in line for days to get on it

    ricardo
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YosemiteCamp4

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jul 8, 2003 - 01:49pm
 
I did Snake Dike on June 18. Overall, I don't think the climb was worth the hike. Don't get me wrong - it's a good route in a fantastic setting - but there is better climbing all over the valley. The 5.7 friction traverses on pitches 1 and 3 feel much harder because of the runout as do the lower 5.4 pitches on the dike.

Even though the climbing is easy, the runouts are extreme and if you made a mistake or a hold broke you'd be in serious trouble.

As the topo says, the 3rd class hike after the last pitch goes on forever. Bring plenty of water on this one!

Overall, this climb is worth doing for the adventure but I won't do it again.
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Dr.Knox

Trad climber
Salzburg, Austria
Jun 24, 2003 - 05:06am
 
Hi Ricardol!
Did the climb last year and in ´99. It took us 8.5 hours car-by-car. I prevent ropdrag on pitch one by pulling a peace out with the rope that was in a little crack in the middle od the "roof".By the way a great climb unfortunately it´s too short...
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ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
Jun 23, 2003 - 12:51pm
 
Did this route yesterday (6/22/03) ..

we took a whopping 16 hours to do the route from the valley (car-to-car time) .. what can i say, we're slow hikers! .. the route itself took 4 hours to complete, and it took us another hour to hike the slabs above the route to the summit of halfdome..

the views are great, i loved the hike in -- hated the hike out.

i ran into great rope drag on P1 because i placed a piece under the roof, and another piece at the corner when you go over the roof ...

on P5 i misread the topo, and traversed across the 5.6 edges and friction dike to the off-route dike .. (i clipped the bolt along the way) .. then climbed the off-route dike .. about 40 feet above the dike gets a bit steep and probably has some 5.7 moves on it (maybe 2 moves) .. there were some tense moments as i considered the 80'+ peeler i was about to take if i blew the moves .. thankfully everything worked out fine .. the off-route dike goes up parallel to the correct dike and its easy to traverse back over to the right once you get up to the belay bolts.

.. i dont think i'll go back to this route anytime soon .. the hike in-out is just too grueling..

    ricardo
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joker

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Apr 9, 2003 - 08:28pm
 
Climbed this route last September '02.

What a great route, though we had a bit of an adventure. About 4 pitches up the wind started blowing fiercely. We decided not to bail since we were half way done with the roped pitches. A couple parties starting up below us bailed out. We kept going and soon we were hugging the dike between run-outs in gusts of wind at least 60mph. Our one pack felt like a sail. It was insane. When we finally topped out, a guy on the summit said that they had recorded some gusts close to 80mph. It was one of those "experiences" that make for a great stories, but I'd sooner not repeat. I'd like to go back and climb it when the wind is normal.
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macgyver

Social climber
Oregon, but now in Europe
Feb 25, 2003 - 06:50pm
 
Quick note on starting pitch 3. A bolt above and right beyond the one pictured in the topo lured me up and I began the friction traverse over 30 feet above the correct route. DO NOT GO UP HERE!

This is dicey terrain! I was two feet from the dike, saw a single bolt 5 feet below to my left (the first bolt above the 60m rope belay) and had tons of rope out. The friction is very tough (some reports are 10b friction but I was 10 feet above that line so who knows how wicked it was) and my feet skated and I took a fingerprint burning 40 foot descent.

Great easy route...just follow the topo exactly and traverse early on pitch three (IGNORE THAT EXTRA BOLT THAT IS NOT ON THE TOPO UP AND 20 feet right)

Have fun and dominate
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Will

Trad climber
Australia
Oct 11, 2002 - 02:03pm
 
Great route, thanks for the free topo! My comments:
We didn't see the "plaque on a rock" on the Mist Trail below Nevada Falls. However the "devious" chasm between Liberty Cap and Mt Broderick was still really easy to find. We just broke left off the Mist Trail when it literally came to the base of Liberty Cap (about 150m short of Nevada Falls). A good climbers trail right up against the base of Liberty Cap heads around into the chasm.

The recent fire has obscured the trail after you traverse the 4th class slabs/ledges on the SW shoulder of Half Dome (about 500m below the base of the route), making for some unpleasant walking for about 150m - our legs got covered in charcoal. But the "sandy switchbacks" up to the base are easy to find.

The bolt 20ft below the second belay is definitely still there (as of 29th Sep) - you must have missed it Trrun :-). The "5.7 friction" moves just below it seemed much easier than the 5.7 moves on P1 and P3.

We simul-climbed after P3, the 5.6 and 5.5 moves on P5 weren't a problem. And it put us at least an hour ahead of some slow parties who started in front of us.

I agree there is a bolt missing from the supertopo about 15ft before the 6th belay which protects the "5.4 steep" section. All the other parties on the route missed it though - keep an eye out for it just to the R of the dyke when you get to the obvious steeper section.

If walking down after sunset, watch for bears below Nevada Falls.... :-))

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Trrun

Novice climber
Australia
Oct 10, 2002 - 12:26pm
 
Go climb this route!!! I can't recommend it enough. The bolt shown in the otherwise perfect Supertopo shortly before the second belay doesn't exist. It would have been nice though as the step onto the dike is a little exposed. Trust the Supertopo's recommendation to bring only 6 quickdraws..... you won't be needing anymore (if that many ;o))
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VirginiaErik

Intermediate climber
Australia
Oct 1, 2002 - 05:29pm
 
My wife and I spent 2 weeks in Sept. in Yosemite. We climbed Snake Dike amongst other routes. We used a 50M rope without a problem but I would recommend 2 long slings or daisy chains for each climber to anchor with. My wife had to unclip her figure 8 on a bight with the climbing rope so I could reach the next belay on the FULL rope length pitches. Even pitch 2 turned out to be one of these so I'm not sure of the stated 120' length. For pro we took Metoulius Power cams #1-#4 and a set of stoppers which was plenty.

Chris if you read this there is an important (read 'welcome') bolt missing on your Supertopo just before the "5.4 steep" section on pitch 6 this short 5.4 section comes after tremendous runout and doesn't take gear. I was able to girth hitch some chicken heads on pitch 5 which reduced the runout there too.

The only reason I didn't give the route 5 stars is because the dike climbing does not offer tremendous climbing variety though having a modest route up one of the most recognized rock features in the world is a statement unto itself!!

For logisitics we got a wilderness permit and stayed in the Little Yosemite Valley campsite before and after the climb. This enabled us to get on the route early and make for a comfortable day :-).
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LB4USC

Trad climber
Long Beach
Aug 22, 2002 - 11:26am
 
I can't add much to what has already been said about the route, but I'll offer a couple of suggestions. First, we filtered and cached a couple of bottles of water at the top of Nevada Fall. It reduced the amount of water we had to carry to the top. Second, many cable climbers place cairns above the route. Take a moment and unstack them. The coconut you save may be your own.
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Link

Novice climber
Long Beach
Aug 16, 2002 - 05:25pm
 

Just checked out the "beta" postings on this page for the first time, pretty good stuff. Wanted to add a few comments and a quick "correction" to the Snake Dike thread:

I posted a note on the Forum a while ago about a fire that recently burned over the last section of the approach to this route and others in the area (see that post for details). I have not had a chance to hike through the burn myself so I can't speak from experience, but climbers headed that direction should be extra mindful of burned snags, loose rocks, etc.

On another note, the Half Dome area is likely the most impacted back-country area in Yosemite, so it is all the more important that we do everything we can to protect it. A few things you should know before heading for the route:

If you plan to camp near the base of the route, or anywhere in Yosemite's back-country for that matter, you must pick up a wilderness permit before leaving the valley. Anyone planning to camp in or near Little Yosemite Valley must stay in the designated group campground (so as to minimize the impact in Yosemite’s most impacted camping area). Sorry “Tired Traveler,” sleeping by Nevada Falls is not OK. I won’t lay out all of Yosemite’s back-country regs here (you’ll get all that info when you pick up a permit), but it is especially important that we pay careful attention to them around Half Dome. The place gets hammered by thousands of people every year, so it is all the more important that we protect it. That means using a bear canister to store your food, camping only where you are allowed to camp, disposing of your human waste and trash correctly, and doing everything you can to leave no trace in general.

Phew… sorry for the soap box. It’s easy for anyone who spends a lot of time around Half Dome to get a bit worked up about seeing the area get hurt.

Climb safe, have fun, and see if you can find the bolt that’s not on the Snake Dike Supertopo.

Cheers,
-Link

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Tired Traveler

Advanced climber
Long Beach
Aug 9, 2002 - 01:31am
 
Snake Dike is an amazing climb that I recommend to all climbers. Myself and another friend climbed it yesterday for the first time. I would deffintely recommend hiking to nevada falls at night and sleeping there just off the trail. Just becarefull of bears. We spent most the night fending them off. After the second pitch make sure you traverse back to the left otherwise you will find yourself on a 5.10b. Both my friend and I thought we were on the hardest 5.6 ever. turns out we were on the 5.10b. For an extra thrill you might consider free soloing the last several pitches. THat is what we did and we had a blast. The last 3 or 4 pitches have holds like you wouldn't believe. Make sure you bring enough water!!! We ran short, I would recommend at least 3 liters. That should last you from vernal falls up over snake dike down the cables and back to vernal. Good luck all, be safe and have fun!
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hoppes

Advanced climber
Long Beach
Aug 5, 2002 - 04:43pm
 
Go light! 8 draws, two small blue metolious cams (1st belay) yellow and red metolious, .75 (green BD) or equivalents there of. The .75 BD with about 10 ft of runner works great in the roof above the initial "runout" friction. Allowing it to be climbed TR.
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Lazy Sunday

Intermediate climber
Long Beach
Aug 5, 2002 - 05:59am
 
You can climb the first pitch right to the recommended route. The is a tie-off in the right corner under the roof, and then a good nut placement in the middle while doing an undercling. Better to climb and protect. Have fun!
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Tom

Advanced climber
Long Beach
Feb 18, 2002 - 05:48am
 
When I did this route many years ago, my partner (picked up off the Camp 4 bulletin board) seemed competent. We did the Royal Arches to feel each other out, and other than starting late and bivvying on top of the Column, everything was cool.

Halfway up the Dike, however, I reached one of the bomber bolt belays to see that he had climbed past it by 30', or so. I thought this was odd, considering the complete lack of other pro on the route so far. There are NO cracks once you get to the Dike. When I got to his "belay", I saw to my horror that it consisted of a single 1/2" runner around a golf-ball sized chickenhead! If that wasn't bad enough, there was a distinctive layer of different rock separating the feldspar knob from the feldspar Dike: looked like the perfect place of the thing to break off.

As it turned out, my next lead wound up being, essentially, my first free solo: easy climbing, but tremendous exposure, and NO room for error.

The lesson? DON'T PASS THE BELAYS UP, UNLESS YOU FIND OUT FOR SURE THAT A 60M ROPE CAN LINK TWO PITCHES. I DON'T THINK YOU CAN LINK ANY OF THE BOLT BELAYS WITH A 50M ROPE.
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tom

Advanced climber
Long Beach
Feb 9, 2002 - 09:24pm
 
MOONLIGHT ASCENT: the full moon doesnt' get high enough in the sky until about 11 pm. If you go before the full moon, figure about 50 minutes earlier for each day before the full moon for the moon to be high enough. I never did this, but scoped it out. Nobody (back then) was F.N.A. crazy enough to do it with me. Looks like the perfect Full Moon Madness climb, though.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Feb 1, 2001 - 11:45pm
 
The 600-foot-long dike on this route is one of the most exceptional features in Yosemite. The 5.4 jugs on this pitch are guaranteed to make you smile (if you can ignore the 70-foot run-outs.) When the climb is over, there is still a LONG section of 3rd class slabs. Though this section is sure to incinerate your legs, the summit is well worth it. Standing on the top of Half Dome is like standing on the moon. The views from the top are outstanding.
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Mark Kroese

Advanced climber
Mill Valley, CA
Feb 1, 2001 - 03:01pm
 
The other thing you should "recommend" is the "four sides of half dome" tour. Go up the death slabs, cut right, up Bushido gully, over to Snake Dike, up Snake Dike, down the cables, then down the regular trail. It's a unique "tour" that gives one a view of all sides of half dome in the same day!
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Half Dome - Snake Dike 5.7 R - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Snake Dike follows an amazing feature to one of the most incredible summits in Yosemite.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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